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New RetroRoleplaying Site Design

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The RetroRoleplaying web site has a new site design. It still needs some work in places, but it is complete enough to be usable. I think it looks much better. Best of all, it is a much more flexible design.

This is also a good time to announce a slight change in direction for RetroRoleplaying. The site focus is changing from "Tabletop RPGs before D20" to "Out-of-Print and Out-of-Style Tabletop Roleplaying Games." I know this is going to upset some people because it means games like D&D 3.x will be covered (eventually) as well as older games. I've gone this route not from any love for D&D 3.x but from a desire to avoid further fragmenting the community of people playing out-of-print games.

I had been thinking about this for the last month and was leaning in this direction when I read this in a post by Warthur on theRPGsite:

The problem I foresee is that as more and more editions exist, the die-hard crowd gets more and more fragmented. The current edition of D&D will always have the advantage that it's the current edition, and I'd be inclined to suggest that barring truly grotesque mismanagement of the line it'll always be in the majority. Meanwhile, the die-hard crowd gets ever more finely-divided (Dragonsfoot, for instance, will never accept 3.X, and Knights-and-Knaves Alehouse even refuses to countenance discussion of B/X and BECMI D&D...).

After reading this, I decided that the poster was correct, we don't need further fragmentation into web sites and forums that only discuss the hosts favorite old RPGs. Those who want such communities already have some excellent sites. There really is no need need for yet another. RetroRoleplaying is going to be a web site that welcomes all players of out-of-print RPGs -- even ones I personally might not want to be caught dead playing.

3 comments:
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Badelaire said...
April 28, 2008 at 12:45 PM  

Go for it. Yeah, I dig old games, and I even prefer some old games to some new games. But the seething hatred that some of the Grognards dish out is just plain upsetting. I constantly have the urge to Shatner it up and scream "Get a life!" at the people who "hate" Castles & Crusades or the Rules
Cyclopedia or Dragonlance. Sunrise, sunset. Time to accept and move on.

The only problem I'd forsee in your endeavor is that the die-hards are going to drop by your site, see that you've "sold out", and either never come back, or turn it into endless RPG edition trench warfare.

Consider whether you want your site to become the Somme of OOP RPGs before you dive in head-first...

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Randall said...
April 28, 2008 at 5:20 PM  

You are probably correct. I'm sure some people will drop by and decide that this site and its blog and forum are not for them. That's fine as there are plenty of places on the Internet for those who want a more older RPG site with a focus more limited to their favorite older RPGs.

I've been running online forums of some type or another since the mid-1980s (including five years as an assistant sysop of the Science Fiction Fandom Roundtable on the old GEnie Online Service in the 1990s. Therefore, I can assure you that RetroRoleplaying forum will not turn into "endless RPG edition trench warfare." I require better behavior from members -- and that includes respecting the right of others to choose differently on matters of taste.

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Sham said...
April 30, 2008 at 8:29 AM  

I think you're making a good decision. Although I prefer to remain cloistered amongst the OD&D/AD&D forums (and really just OD&D lately), I think your approach is sound. I just don't have the time or desire to learn later editions of D&D, and I don't see the point, but we (D&D players/fans) are all really just fans of the game, regardless of edition we are still a somewhat small minority that certainly doesn't need further division. Unfortunately with each new edition, divisons are created.

I really enjoy the blog, by the way.

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